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I used to travel for work.  It was exciting to accompany groups on international tours.

But when Bill and I retired to the joys of a quiet country life I vowed to curtail roaming.

The travel fever had subsided after eight years of tours.   Flying became challenging instead of an adventure, crowded instead of elegant,  uncomfortable instead of fun.  And our international tours were fraught with the anxiety of pleasing 25+ people at a time.

“Enough was enough,” as Dad used to say.  It was time to stay home.

The urge to travel afar did not plague me for years.

But now there is a strange compulsive need to discover and collect travel accessories!

Where other folks love fashion catalogs, or gardening issues, or even food catalogs, I love TRAVEL THINGS!  Not PLACES you know – THINGS.    I literally “pour” over all the travel catalog treasures:

  1. mix and match wrinkle free outfits,
  2. ideas for minimizing packing,
  3. under-seat carry-ons,
  4. travel soaps,
  5. jet lag help,
  6. sleep masks,
  7. first aid kits,
  8. packing cubes
  9. clotheslines to string up in hotel bathrooms,
  10. blankets,
  11. pillows
  12. air purifiers,
  13. collapsible mirrors,
  14. sample size detergents, and
  15. the whole range of THINGS to make travel less cumbersome, sleeker, easier to manage, safer, more comfortable, and organized.

Even articles about how to be away from home for a month with one carry-on have my full attention.

Oh, the temptations there are in direct mail catalogs, newsletter articles, travel blogs, and even invasive social media advertisements.

With instant take-off in mind,  I started a real collection that is taking up space in the closet (I am READY!):

  • A passportwallet that is positively amazing for all it will hold and ease of access.
  • Shoe bags that do double duty holding slippers and shoes or socks and shoes, or  other things besides shoes.
  • A drawstring makeup bag. Open it up and see all your cosmetics spread out (no digging).
  • Oblong packing cylinders (don’t ask me to describe what these are for because I am not sure)
  • A valet tray with snap up corners. Snap the corners, and it becomes a walled tray for keys, watch, change, etc. Unsnap and it lies flat at the bottom of your luggage.
  • A mini umbrella and a foldable reversable raincoat.
  • Neon colored luggage straps for easy identification.
  • A collapsible water bottle.

The collection keeps growing and it will one day soon be ready to go.

And surely there will be another day when the urge to roam will take over.

Will the travel things I thought were perfect actually work?

Will the odds and ends necessities come in handy?

Will I be able to find what I need when I need it?

The question now is where in the morass should I pack my toothbrush?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Homeward Bound

The road is long to my old Virginia home

but sunlight shines the way

and I recognize clear skies and

empty roads, and I can

watch the tall trees sway.

It looks like home just there

where the road rises and dips

with its artistic flare, and

where honeysuckle scents the air.

I am homeward bound  

and I am almost home.

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Baltimore, MD -The View from our room.

I am home from a Big City-BigFoot adventure and happy to be alive and well.

Baltimore is a beautiful old Maryland city, with more than enough to do if you are young, agile, and don’t mind horrific traffic in the inner city.

Strike “young.”

Strike “agile.”

As for the traffic?

A nightmare!

But we somehow got where we were going in spite of white knuckle rides and hysterical screaming at our GPS lady and maybe one or two jabs at each other (to say nothing of unacceptable language).

For solace, we turned to food.

Have you ever had Maryland crab cakes?  They are the best and of course I had to have crab at Phillips’ famous seafood restaurant.  It was just around the block from the hotel, but may as well have been on Mars.

445 Crab Cake Plattercrp1

I am back to driving challenges again!  Sigh.

 

But of course, the original purpose of our visit to Baltimore was for an appointment with an expert orthopedic doctor at The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy.

And a wonderful doctor did spend a whole hour with us, discussing, analyzing, offering advice and answering many questions.

In a nutshell, this Gimpy Gal (me, Big Foot) simply (or maybe not) has an injured “talus” bone that may take a long time to heal.

So it was back to frolicking in Baltimore!

We frolicked over to the Whole Foods place and actually started to get lost in the garage.  But we somehow frolickedstumbled into the place and found the six loaves of decadent bread I wanted so badly!

We would surely not starve with all that in the car right?

At breakfast next morning we managed some exciting sight seeing by looking out the window next to our table (no driving required).

There was a mysterious tent-covered barge-like THING with a giant water wheel and it was parked and floating in the harbor basin, and the big water wheel seemed to turn of its own accord when and if it wanted to.

We took turns guessing what the mysterious barge might be.

And I wondered why technology wouldn’t let me take a picture and ask Google to please identify the unidentified object.  Why couldn’t I just say, “Hey Google, What is this?”

Whatever it was though,  it made for great conversation over pancakes!

Can YOU guess what it really is?

This is the unidentified floating object.

20180403_173023.jpg

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

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Did you think the BigFoot saga was over?   Nope.

‘Tis not the case.

Thanks to internet searching, “the Foot” found another set of experts in ankle disorders.

“Mercy me!”

That’s an old fashioned way of saying, “Really?”. 

How far is one expected to go anyway to find a proactive healing plan?”

Well, Bill and I went off to Baltimore, Maryland on a 5 hour car trip (plus a pit stop and lunch) and got a place for a few nights on the Inner Harbor!  We planned to combine serious business with some BigFoot Frolicking in the big city!

Leaving our little country home in rural  Virginia even for a few days meant the excitement was feverish.

Just think!  We had to navigate our way around  traffic and sky scrapers (we get lost in parking garages).

And although it may sound strange to some, the Number One attraction on my list was Whole Foods supermarket for the express purpose of buying 6 loaves of real bread.

Talk about frolicking!

But seriously, our ultimate destination was The Institute for Foot and Ankle Restoration at Mercy (hospital).  Their web site is beyond professional and they answer the phone in two rings and offer second opinions.  I wondered, “Can they give me a qualified opinion on how to heal?”

Foot_and_Office_Entrance_Sign_Hallway_IFAR_2013_8023

Mercy Medical Center

Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland

Be still my heart!  Look at all those big buildings!

More on BigFoot Frolicking to be continued…….

 

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FatTunaRestaurantBarView

“He was a bold man that first ate an oyster.”  

~Jonathan Swift

If you are ever in Williamsburg, Virginia and you’re hungry (especially if you are hungry for shell fish), I discovered a place I would drive three hours to go back to.  It is called The Fat Tuna Grill and Oyster Bar.

I was yearning for  seafood  and though it is available “inland” where I live, it is oddly not quite satisfying.  But on our trip to Williamsburg I learned I  had forgotten the joy of consuming fresh oysters on the half shell and big fat broiled shrimp dipped in butter!

oysters-on-the-half-shell

And that is exactly what I ordered at The Fat Tuna – oysters on the half shell and broiled shrimp.

Ambrosia!

Bill doesn’t know it yet, but I am planning a calculated semi-yearly blitz urging him to join me in return trips to Williamsburg – just for a repeat of that dinner!  Tomorrow would not be too soon.

But back to my somewhat less than professional food critic’s review:

I was oohing and ahhing so much the smiling Manager came over and touched my shoulder in gratitude for such exuberant appreciation of the chef.

I loved the service too.  “Star” understood  and she was truly a star in bringing us fabulous warm hush puppies and corn bread for starters.  I am off grains of course, but had a taste of each to set me swooning for more.   Selected sides were green beans cooked to perfection and fabulously delicious coleslaw.  And Key Lime Pie for dessert – the real thing!

The Fat Tuna is a casual dining destination – meaning it is not hoity-toity and you don’t have to dress up but it is pleasantly appointed.

Can you tell how much I love this restaurant?

If you love seafood too and you are anywhere near (or even far), The Fat Tuna is the place to go.

 

Fat tuna sign
1433 Richmond Road
Williamsburg,Virginia 23185

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Chownings Mug Sign

Chownings Tavern – Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

The Way We Were

Chownings Tavern Welcome Team

Tavern Reception Team

Bill and I have been escaping the past several days, on a brief trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia – not the first time for sure.  There is always something to see and do and never enough time for any of it.

The main allure of this incredible place is the ability to experience a “living museum”

where you can see and feel the past

whilst knowing you are viewing it from the future.

O.K. I know this doesn’t make much sense but it is perfectly true.

But we had another reason to visit the area this time.

We stopped at the MAI Conference being held at the Williamsburg Lodge!

Our friend, Pete, is the organizer and MAI stands for Mid Atlantic Innkeepers, so it was a conference and trade show for Bed and Breakfast people.

Attendees are either eager Hosts and Hostesses, eagerly Aspiring hosts and hostesses, or eager Suppliers of eager hosts and hostesses.

In any case, they are all delightfully friendly energetic people enjoying courses, classes, and camaraderie dedicated to optimizing the travel experience in today’s bustling new world.

Here are photographs of our friends who were working so hard to make the conference a success.

MAI Organizer Pete Holladay http://midatlanticinnkeepers.com

MAI Organizer Pete Holladay
http://midatlanticinnkeepers.com

MAI Ladies

Beautiful Friends Phebe and Katherine

Where Are We

Bill Wondering Where We Were

Believe it or not, the Williamsburg Lodge was a stop on our bus route around the periphery of Colonial Williamsburg.  We had lunch at Chownings Tavern along the way.

Bill tried the Shepherd’s Pie with Root Beer to swig it all down.  And I had Brunswick Stew and hot apple cider.  We were serenaded by a lovely lady in period costume who played the fiddle and then we were visited by a fellow who looked like John Adams. Then we heard a fife in the back room.

Talk about being transported back in time!

How I would love to vacation again in Colonial Williamsburg – but via a time machine back to 1734.  Then I would return of course, to all my modern conveniences!

Well, a lunch hour at the Tavern in the restored Old Towne will have to do.

A Colonial Street of Homes

A Colonial Street of Homes

John Adams Maybe

 

Wood Pile at the Ready

Wood Pile at the Ready

 

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Blizzard Sign

Photo from:  WTVR CBS6 Richmond on Twitter @tristateweather .

Lizzard warning issued for Long Island.  As seen on northern state parkway.

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